Microcebus murinus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES CHEIROGALEIDAE

Scientific Name: Microcebus murinus
Species Authority: (J.F. Miller, 1777)
Common Name(s):
English Grey Mouse-lemur, Lesser Mouse-lemur, Gray Mouse-lemur
French Microcèbe Murin, Petit Microcèbe
Spanish Maki Ratón, Makisratone

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-07-11
Assessor(s): Andriaholinirina, N., Baden, A., Blanco, M., Chikhi, L., Cooke, A., Davies, N., Dolch, R., Donati, G., Ganzhorn, J., Golden, C., Groeneveld, L.F., Hapke, A., Irwin, M., Johnson, S., Kappeler, P., King, T., Lewis, R., Louis, E.E., Markolf, M., Mass, V., Mittermeier, R.A., Nichols, R., Patel, E., Rabarivola, C.J., Raharivololona, B., Rajaobelina, S., Rakotoarisoa, G., Rakotomanga, B., Rakotonanahary, J., Rakotondrainibe, H., Rakotondratsimba, G., Rakotondratsimba, M., Rakotonirina, L., Ralainasolo, F.B., Ralison, J., Ramahaleo, T., Ranaivoarisoa, J.F., Randrianahaleo, S.I., Randrianambinina, B., Randrianarimanana, L., Randrianasolo, H., Randriatahina, G., Rasamimananana, H., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Rasoloharijaona, S., Ratelolahy, F., Ratsimbazafy, J., Ratsimbazafy, N., Razafindraibe, H., Razafindramanana, J., Rowe, N., Salmona, J., Seiler, M., Volampeno, S., Wright, P., Youssouf, J., Zaonarivelo, J. & Zaramody, A.
Reviewer(s): Schwitzer, C. & Molur, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Chiozza, F. & Clark, F.
Justification:
Given the impact of habitat loss within the range of this species, in addition to live capture, it is likely that M. murinus is currently in decline. The geographical range of this species is currently relatively extensive, and so despite these threats, the species is still thought to be widespread, common and adaptable. Based on these premises, M. murinus is listed as Least Concern. Further information on hybridization, population status, habitat loss, and threats may warrant listing this species in a more threatened category in the future.
History:
1990 Abundant (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed from about the Onilahy River along the entire western coast to the north perhaps as far as Ankarafantsika National Park. A disjunct population is also found in the southeast up to the littoral forests of the Mandena Conservation Zone (Mittermeier et al. 2008).
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: M. murinus is adaptable, widespread, and abundant, making it one of the least threatened of Madagascar’s lemurs. Recent density estimates range from 167 individuals/km2 (Ampijoroa forestry station adjacent Ankarafantsika National Park) to 180 individuals/km2 (Kirindy Forest/CFPF), suggesting that this species remains one of Madagascar’s most abundant small mammals (Radespiel 2000, Eberle and Kappeler 2002, P. Kappeler pers. comm.).
M. murinus hybridizes with M griseorufus in southeastern Madagascar in two ecologically different contact zones. One hybrid zone is located in the transitional zone between dry spiny bush and humid littoral forests south of the southern tip of the Anosy Mountain Range west and east of Ankilivalo (S 25.112 ,E 46.689) (Gligor et al. 2009). The second hybrid zone is located in the western rainshadow of the Anosy Mountain Range where there is a mosaic of dry spiny bush and gallery forests. Most hybrids in this area have been observed at Mangatsiaka (S 24.9660, E 46.5574) (Hapke et al. 2011).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: M. murinus inhabits lowland tropical dry forest, sub-arid thorn scrub, gallery forest, spiny forest and secondary forest formations. They are also present in plantations and degraded habitats (Ganzhorn and Schmid 1998). Studies at Ampijoroa also indicate that individuals may take shelter in three to nine different tree holes within their range and remain in a given shelter for several days in succession. Females tend to share nests with several conspecifics, while males tend to sleep alone (Radespiel et al. 1998). The sexes also differ in home ranges, as male home ranges tend to be larger, especially during the mating season (Buesching et al. 1998, Radespiel 2000, Eberle and Kappeler 2002). After a gestation of approximately 60 days, typically two young are born.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is captured for the local pet trade. Medical research still uses a small number of this species (I.J. Porton pers. comm.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In the west of the range, habitat is being lost due to yearly burning for slash-and-burn and cattle grazing. The Mandena habitat is completely destroyed. Although M. murinus is reported to inhabit secondary forests and degraded habitats, there is some evidence that decreased habitat quality may have adverse effects on population dynamics. According to Ganzhorn and Schmid (1998), fewer large tree holes in secondary forests result in fewer opportunities to save energy through periods of torpor, and may increase levels of stress and mortality. Live capture to supply the local pet trade is also a threat to this species, especially in the southern and northern parts of its range. Mining also poses a threat to this species. 


Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix I. It is present in eight national parks (Andohahela, Ankarafantsika, Baie de Baly, Isalo, Tsingy de Namoroka, Vohibasia, Kirindy Mitea and Zombitse), five special reserves (Andranomena, Bemarivo, Beza-Mahafaly, Kasijy, and Maningoza), the Berenty Private Reserve, and other privately-protected forests within the Mandena Conservation Zone. Also occurs in Kirindy Classified Forest (Mittermeier et al. 2008). According to ISIS (2009), this species is maintained in a number of captive collections in Europe and the United States, the international studbook held by the Duke University Primate Center.

Bibliography [top]

Buesching, C.D., Heistermann, M., Hodges, J.K. and Zimmermann, E. 1998. Multimodal oestrus advertisement in a small nocturnal prosimian, Microcebus murinus. Folia Primatologica 61: 295-308.

Eberle, M. and Kappeler, P. M. 2001. Mouse lemurs in space and time: a test of the socioecological model. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 51: 131–139.

Ganzhorn, J. U. and Schmid, J. 1998. Different population dynamics of Microcebus murinus in primary and secondary deciduous dry forests of Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology 19: 785–796.

Gligor, M., Ganzhorn, J.U., Rakotondravony, D., Ramilijaona, O.R., Razafimahatratra, E., Zischler, H., Hapke, A. 2009. Hybridization between mouse lemurs in an ecological transition zone in southern Madagascar. Molecular Ecology 18: 520-533.

Hapke, A., Gligor, M., Rakotondranary, S.J., Rosenkranz, D., Zupke, O. 2011. Hybridization of mouse lemurs: different patterns under different ecological conditions. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:297.

ISIS. 2009. International Species Information System. Apple Valley, MN Available at: www.isis.org. (Accessed: 01.01.2009).

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2014).

Mittermeier, R., Louis, E., Hawkins, F., Langrand, O., Ganzhorn, J., Konstant, W., Rasoloarison, R., Rajaobelina, S. and Richardson, M. 2008. Lemurs of Madagascar, 3rd edition. Conservation International.

Radespiel, U. 2000. Sociality in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) in northwestern Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology 51: 21–40.

Radespiel, U., Cepok, S., Zietemann, V. and Zimmermann, E. 1998. Sex-specific usage patterns of sleeping sites in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in northwestern Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology 46: 77–84.


Citation: Andriaholinirina, N., Baden, A., Blanco, M., Chikhi, L., Cooke, A., Davies, N., Dolch, R., Donati, G., Ganzhorn, J., Golden, C., Groeneveld, L.F., Hapke, A., Irwin, M., Johnson, S., Kappeler, P., King, T., Lewis, R., Louis, E.E., Markolf, M., Mass, V., Mittermeier, R.A., Nichols, R., Patel, E., Rabarivola, C.J., Raharivololona, B., Rajaobelina, S., Rakotoarisoa, G., Rakotomanga, B., Rakotonanahary, J., Rakotondrainibe, H., Rakotondratsimba, G., Rakotondratsimba, M., Rakotonirina, L., Ralainasolo, F.B., Ralison, J., Ramahaleo, T., Ranaivoarisoa, J.F., Randrianahaleo, S.I., Randrianambinina, B., Randrianarimanana, L., Randrianasolo, H., Randriatahina, G., Rasamimananana, H., Rasolofoharivelo, T., Rasoloharijaona, S., Ratelolahy, F., Ratsimbazafy, J., Ratsimbazafy, N., Razafindraibe, H., Razafindramanana, J., Rowe, N., Salmona, J., Seiler, M., Volampeno, S., Wright, P., Youssouf, J., Zaonarivelo, J. & Zaramody, A. 2014. Microcebus murinus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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